Question New Gaming Build under $700

bthizle1

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Jun 21, 2013
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I've been contemplating a new build for under $700. Preferably something that's somewhat portable, like a micro ATX. After brief investigation I think the ryzen 5 3600 is the best performance for value, so unless convinced otherwise I think I'd like to do a Micro Atx build or if possible even a mini itx (for more portability) around this CPU. Any recommendations? Naturally the further under $700 the better.

I don't currently have a monitor, however I think I could find a used one locally fairly easily.

Edit:
Did a test build for quite a bit under $700 even
https://pcpartpicker.com/list/TDmfx6
How's this look?

Currently I'm using an alienware laptop that has a i7 4720HQ and an GTX 970M with 16 GB DDR3 RAM.
 
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Fusion1005

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Jan 15, 2020
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I've been contemplating a new build for under $700. Preferably something that's somewhat portable, like a micro ATX. After brief investigation I think the ryzen 5 3600 is the best performance for value, so unless convinced otherwise I think I'd like to do a Micro Atx build or if possible even a mini itx (for more portability) around this CPU. Any recommendations? Naturally the further under $700 the better.

I don't currently have a monitor, however I think I could find a used one locally fairly easily.
Mini ITX boards are too expensive for this price range. Micro ATX seems like the best option for your budget.

As for the Ryzen 3600, it might be a bit too expensive for this budget. It is the best performance for value CPU on the market, but coming in at $175, for a $700 build, that's a bit too much. I'd go for the Ryzen 5 2600, which is only $120 and you're still getting a solid 6 core 12 thread CPU.

But there are some questions that need answers:

Is a Windows 10 license included in the $700 budget?

What will your PC be intended for? Gaming? Work?

How much storage will you need?
 

Oussebon

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Feb 17, 2020
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however I've read that you can also use win. 10 for free with a watermark...
That's a little bit like saying you can live in a house for free as long as you don't mind the draught from the window pane you smashed to let yourself in :)

It's not a legit way to use Windows and goes against MS's terms.
https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/e2c1f336-93c3-46cb-8909-2acb98cb9dde/is-using-a-nonactivated-windows-10-illegal?forum=win10itprosetup

If you have a Windows licence on an existing system, you could tie that to a Microsoft account and transfer it to your new system - using it there instead of the old system. Or if your games run on Linux, you could use Linux on the new PC. And buy a Windows licence in the future if X new game you want to play doesn't behave on Linux.
 

Fusion1005

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Jan 15, 2020
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How's this build look?
https://pcpartpicker.com/list/TDmfx6

Primarily for gaming

Storage space, less than 500GB really...

And no I do not have a windows license (I may be able to come across one) however I've read that you can also use win. 10 for free with a watermark...
I'd go for r5 2600 and maybe something like a 1660 super, but r5 3600 + rx580 should be fine, too. And if you can spend a bit more maybe get a kit of RAM at 3200 mhz. But other than that, it looks good.
 

Gam3r01

Titan
Moderator
That's a little bit like saying you can live in a house for free as long as you don't mind the draught from the window pane you smashed to let yourself in :)

It's not a legit way to use Windows and goes against MS's terms.
https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/e2c1f336-93c3-46cb-8909-2acb98cb9dde/is-using-a-nonactivated-windows-10-illegal?forum=win10itprosetup

If you have a Windows licence on an existing system, you could tie that to a Microsoft account and transfer it to your new system - using it there instead of the old system. Or if your games run on Linux, you could use Linux on the new PC. And buy a Windows licence in the future if X new game you want to play doesn't behave on Linux.
Taken a bit out of context though, that thread is about selling PCs with unactivated windows, which is a violation of terms.
Nowhere does that explicitly apply to personal use, if MS didnt want it happening they would put a time window on it like they have with previous versions of windows.

Also, your comparison does not really make sense, since a busted window pane would impact the functionality of the space, unactivated windows is fully functional.
 
Unlike other B450 boards, the MSI MAX Series B450 boards are guaranteed to come with 3rd gen. BIOS updated.
The sweet spot for Ryzen 3rd gen. RAM is 3600mhz as it performs better with faster RAM.
NVME SSD is way faster for booting and load times.
Better current gen. card and PSU included.

This should be better...

PCPartPicker Part List

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
CPU | AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor | $174.99 @ B&H
Motherboard | MSI B450M PRO-VDH MAX Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard | $79.99 @ B&H
Memory | G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory | $82.99 @ Newegg
Storage | Crucial P1 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive | $69.95 @ Adorama
Video Card | MSI GeForce GTX 1660 6 GB VENTUS XS OC Video Card | $198.98 @ Newegg
Case | Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L MicroATX Mini Tower Case | $44.99 @ Best Buy
Power Supply | Corsair CX (2017) 450 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply | $38.98 @ Newegg
| Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts |
| Total (before mail-in rebates) | $725.87
| Mail-in rebates | -$35.00
| Total | $690.87
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-02-27 04:41 EST-0500 |

You can activate Windows anytime down the line. There should be no performance issue and you will get all security updates...
https://www.howtogeek.com/244678/you-dont-need-a-product-key-to-install-and-use-windows-10/
 
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Oussebon

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Feb 17, 2020
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Taken a bit out of context though, that thread is about selling PCs with unactivated windows, which is a violation of terms.
Nowhere does that explicitly apply to personal use, if MS didnt want it happening they would put a time window on it like they have with previous versions of windows.

Also, your comparison does not really make sense, since a busted window pane would impact the functionality of the space, unactivated windows is fully functional.
The house thing was meant to be a slight joke - I'm sorry the humour didn't make it through the internet intact.

Either way, it's against the terms MS have for you using the software. That topic's context isn't relevant as much as the part where they highlight this from the EULA / terms:

Depending on how you obtained the Windows software, this is a license agreement between (i) you and the device manufacturer or software installer that distributes the software with your device; or (ii) you and Microsoft Corporation (or, based on where you live or, if a business, where your principal place of business is located, one of its affiliates) if you acquired the software from a retailer.
....
This agreement describes your rights and the conditions upon which you may use the Windows software
....
5. Software and Activation. You are authorized to use this software only if you are properly licensed and the software has been properly activated with a genuine product key or by other authorized method. When you connect to the Internet while using the software, the software will automatically contact Microsoft or its affiliate to conduct activation to associate it with a certain device. You can also activate the software manually by Internet or telephone. In either case, transmission of certain information will occur, and Internet, telephone and SMS service charges may apply. During activation (or reactivation that may be triggered by changes to your device’s components), the software may determine that the installed instance of the software is counterfeit, improperly licensed or includes unauthorized changes. If activation fails, the software will attempt to repair itself by replacing any tampered Microsoft software with genuine Microsoft software. You may also receive reminders to obtain a proper license for the software. Successful activation does not confirm that the software is genuine or properly licensed. You may not bypass or circumvent activation. To help determine if your software is genuine and whether you are properly licensed, see (aka.ms/genuine). Certain updates, support, and other services might only be offered to users of genuine Microsoft software.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Useterms/Retail/Windows/10/UseTerms_Retail_Windows_10_English.htm

I'm not saying you physically can't use Windows without it being activated. Just that it's against the terms for using the software. And that Microsoft do make that very clear.

That's there in black and white and not really open to interpretation.
 
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Oussebon

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Feb 17, 2020
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Is a RAM at 3200 mhz really that better than 3000 mhz?
The difference will be small in most cases, though the price difference tends to be small and you will likely keep the RAM for a very long time so it can be considered an investment to go for the fastest RAM you possibly can.

You might, potentially, even upgrade the CPU e.g. to an as-yet-unreleased 4000 series CPU, before you replace the RAM.

@Hellfire13 even suggests some 3600MHz which doesn't look too expensive.

So it's well worth considering, yes.
 

WildCard999

Titan
Moderator
If you want a Win10 license included into the build this is what I'd suggest, price has no MIR so slips just under the budget.

PCPartPicker Part List
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600 3.4 GHz 6-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock B450M/AC Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($84.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Patriot Viper 4 Blackout 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($72.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Silicon Power A55 512 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($58.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER 4 GB Twin Fan Video Card ($159.99 @ B&H)
Case: Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($44.99 @ Best Buy)
Power Supply: Corsair CXM (2015) 450 W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply ($57.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($99.99 @ B&H)
Total: $699.91
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-02-27 09:18 EST-0500


Cost could be lowered with a cheaper board however for the price this is one of the best boards out there as it includes Wifi/Bluetooth, easy to navigate BIOS and even ships with some 3rd gen CPU support. For the GPU I went with the 1650S since it's a lower power GPU then the RX 580 and performs just as good, also allows to go with a more budget friendly semi-modular (easier cable management) PSU.

To answer your initial question the build looks good however you'd need to make sure the motherboard ships with a BIOS that supports the 3600.
 
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